The Forest Trail crosses Spicu Bridge and leads to the four Kokši lakes (about 4 km), which are interconnected by a small stream. Here you will find a picnic area, tent spots and a nature trail for travellers. The surrounding nature is beautiful, and the forests are rich in edible mushrooms. After passing the last of the Kokši lakes, Lake Dibena, in an hour or two you will reach the Cirgaļi dune massif, which you will cross towards north-south. The further section of the Forest Trail crosses a large forested area, and a lone homestead or a smaller lake can be seen here and there. The section ends in a small village named Zaķi. The village provides no services, so be sure to consider the necessary arrangements and accommodation options as you plan your hike. The section is located in the Northern Gauja (“Ziemeļgauja”) protected landscape area.

Practical information

Length: 31 km

Duration: 1 (long) day or 2-day route

Starting point: Spicu Bridge by Gauja River

End point: Zaķi

The course of the route: Spicu Bridge – Kokšu Lakes – Cirgaļi dunes – Zaķi

Road surface: Small forest roads, trails, gravel roads

Difficulty: Easy, if the section is completed in two days, hard, if completed in one day

Danger points: Watch out for cars on winding gravel roads!

Keep in mind! The nearest accommodations are within a 5 to 8 km radius of Zaķi. You can try asking the hosts to pick you up or take the Smiltene–Gaujiena bus (at 15:10 (does not run on Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays) and 19:15), which connects Zaķi with Aumeisteri, Zvārtava and Gaujiena. The mentioned locations offer accommodation.

Alternative route options: Strong hikers without heavy backpacks will be able to complete the distance in one day. It is advisable to divide the section into a two-day walk with an overnight stay at the rest area by Cepurīte Lake (tent spots only, ~ 3 km from the Forest Trail) located approximately in the middle of this section.

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